I began to wonder, where did this persistent fascination with on-brand restrooms originate? What exactly is an on-brand restroom?
An on-brand restroom is a bathroom that has been thoughtfully and purposefully designed as a consistent extension of the establishment’s brand. It’s one that takes into account the aesthetic elements, such as texture, color, attention to detail, and cleanliness and order (or lack thereof).
Some great examples of San Francisco based restaurant and café bathrooms designed with the brand incorporated into the loo experience include: Frances Restaurant, Bar Agricole, Andytown Coffee, Flora Grubb,
Rich Table, Trou Normand, and Outerlands. What strikes with each of these is the consistency with the dining room experience, both in terms of aesthetics and attention to detail. Next time you visit, take a closer look.
Sometimes being on-brand takes a less tactile, less visual direction. Take, for example, The Progress, the second restaurant from chefs Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza, two food industry veterans who’ve built their brands (State Bird Provisions, their first restaurant, consistently remains one of the top booked in SF) experimenting with familiar concepts interpreted in fresh ways.
While I wouldn’t describe their restrooms as aesthetically on-brand, I love the bathroom experience. Glitter, pop, unexpected, and each unique, the restrooms delight and surprise guests, much like the play on the tasting menu concept and whimsy that’s used to interpret the menu’s dishes. The evening is a progression, rounding out the guests’ complete experience, inclusive of on-point service, cuisine, ambiance, bar program, and of course — the bathroom.
As we head into autumn, I’ll be compiling a Top 10 On-Brand Bathrooms of 2015 list. Stay tuned!
I’d love to see your favorite on-brand bathroom experiences. Snap a photo and tweet or IG them to me @onbrandbathroom or with hashtag #onbrandbathroom.